I really love the picture of this family up above. I am familiar with the kind of laugh that makes children lose control and arch their backs back like that little guy is doing. The noise of the laugh is so touching, no one can resist smiling at it----as you can see from Mom and Dad. The person I corresponded with for this gift for the Hibfoots was such a delight, her name is Joyce, and I wish everyone had a Joyce in her life. She works for the organization that Mom up above is the director of: a non-profit animal welfare group. They do something I thought was a joke at first, until I really read through and started to understand the importance and need of it: providing oral contraception to animals. You can read all about it here http://www.acc-d.org/ and it will make you go "Of course!", because it's such an amazing concept. I'm including a write-up Joyce provided me about Mom and Dad up there because their lives are very cool:
Elly: Our board member. Dr. Elly Hiby is an Independent Animal Welfare Consultant and Scientific Coordinator to the International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition. Previously she worked at Dogs Trust as International Director, covering a range of dog welfare issues around the world but with a focus on humane dog population management. Prior to working at Dogs Trust, Dr. Hiby worked for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) for eight years, including leading on the companion animal welfare program and advising on humane rabies control internationally. She has also worked as a technical expert with the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on dog population management. In 2006, while working for WSPA, Dr. Hiby and contemporaries from Royal Society for Protection of Animals, Humane Society International, and International Fund for Animal Welfare formed the ICAM Coalition. This coalition aims to improve understanding of effective population management by sharing experience and data from past and current non-profit projects and by combining knowledge to produce documents outlining best practice. In her current role with ICAM Coalition she leads the Indicators Project, aiming to develop guidance on monitoring and evaluation of dog population management to support academics, practitioners and funders to track progress, learn and subsequently improve their impact through the use of measurable indicators. Prior to joining WSPA, Dr. Hiby completed a PhD in dog welfare and behavior with a focus on improving the welfare of working dogs and the impact of training methods on pet behavior. However, her passion for animal welfare has led to work with many other species, from training horses under the guidance of “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts to surveying wild seal populations along the UK coastline.
Her husband Mike: On the 23rd August, Mike and his brother Andy embarked on a novel and eccentric challenge: to cycle Brompton folding bicycles between the British 3 peaks (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis - in this order), wild camping en route. Then with Bromptons folded and carried on rucksack mounts, climb each peak via scrambling routes that would not be attainable whilst porting a larger-sized bike. We intend to complete our expedition in approximately 10 days: cycling for six of the days and covering on average 100 miles each day, scrambling the peaks in one day each, leaving one ‘spare’ day which is optimistically reserved for a recuperating beverage in Fort William.